A Passion for the Possible | Søren Kierkegaard Quotes
We couldn’t help compiling Søren Kierkegaard’s famous quotes when we realized what an impact he has had on several thinkers worldwide. The Danish born philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author, widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher, was largely quoted as an influence by the entire existentialist movement of the 1930’s. He was also thought of as the Father of Existentialism by some, a title usually attributed to Martin Heidegger or Jean-Paul Sartre.
Kierkegaard predicted his posthumous fame, and foresaw that his work would become the subject of intense study and research. Being able to reverberate through the years up until the present times, his quotes talk about the life of the 21st-century individual, about uncategorized faith and the thirst to experience the ongoing. Kierkegaard’s words are characterized by the need to invent a type of communication that would be outside of stereotypical identities, which is something that the modern man could learn a lot from.
Søren Kierkegaard Quotes
- The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
- People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
- Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
- On the secretly blushing cheek is reflected the glow of the heart.
- I am convinced that God is love, this thought has for me a primitive lyrical validity. When it is present to me, I am unspeakably blissful, when it is absent, I long for it more vehemently than does the lover for his object.
- The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted.
- There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.
- Happiness is the greatest hiding place for despair.
- And this is one of the most crucial definitions for the whole of Christianity; that the opposite of sin is not virtue but faith.
- Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
- Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself.
- Every mental act is composed of doubt and belief,
but it is belief that is the positive, it is belief
that sustains thought and holds the world together.
- What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music.
- For he who loves God without faith reflects on himself, while the person who loves God in faith reflects on God.
- People understand me so poorly that they don’t even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.
- The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.
- The thing is to understand myself: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die. That is what I now recognize as the most important thing.
- Therefore do not deceive yourself! Of all deceivers fear most yourself!
- To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity.
- If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin.
- Many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it.
- It is very important in life to know when your cue comes.
- There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.
- To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
- To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self…. And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.
- For love is exultant when it unites equals, but it is triumphant when it makes that which was unequal equal in love.
- Thus our own age is essentially one of understanding, and on the average, perhaps, more knowledgeable than any former generation, but it is without passion. Every one knows a great deal, we all know which way we ought to go and all the different ways we can go, but nobody is willing to move.
- Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good.
- Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.
- The proud person always wants to do the right thing, the great thing. But because he wants to do it in his own strength, he is fighting not with man, but with God.
- Don’t you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?
- What looks like politics, and imagines itself to be political, will one day unmask itself as a religious movement.
- I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.
- The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you’ll never have.
- It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.
- Love is the expression of the one who loves, not of the one who is loved. Those who think they can love only the people they prefer do not love at all. Love discovers truths about individuals that others cannot see.
- I feel as if I were a piece in a game of chess, when my opponent says of it: That piece cannot be moved.
- Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth — look at the dying man’s struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.
- It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand…
- Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.
- If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the bottom of everything there were only a wild ferment, a power that twisting in dark passions produced everything great or inconsequential; if an unfathomable, insatiable emptiness lay hid beneath everything, what would life be but despair?
- …why bother remembering a past that cannot be made into a present?
- Never cease loving a person, and never give up hope for him, for even the prodigal son who had fallen most low, could still be saved; the bitterest enemy and also he who was your friend could again be your friend; love that has grown cold can kindle.
- In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant… My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known — no wonder, then, that I return the love.
- I have only one friend, and that is echo. Why is it my friend? Because I love my sorrow, and echo does not take it away from me. I have only one confidant, and that is the silence of night. Why is it my confidant? Because it remains silent.
- Your own tactic is to train yourself in the art of becoming enigmatic to everybody. My young friend, suppose there was no one who troubld himself to guess your riddle–what joy, then, would you have in it?
Short Søren Kierkegaard Quotes
- My standpoint is armed neutrality.
- The most common form of despair is not being who you are.
- Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.
- It is impossible to exist without passion.
- Leap of faith – yes, but only after reflection.
- What labels me, negates me.
- A ‘no’ does not hide anything, but a ‘yes’ very easily becomes a deception.
- The only intelligent tactical response to life’s horror is to laugh defiantly at it.
- Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.
- If you want to be loathsome to God, just run with the herd.
- Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.
- Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.
- Nothing is as heady as the wine of possibility.
- To have faith is precisely to lose one’s mind so as to win God.
- To be lost in spiritlessness is the most terrible thing of all.
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